Dreaming of Failure

Following dreams can be complicated. Especially when we're not sure what the exact end goal is. Sometimes we have to just sit down and start. I wake up every morning to write and there is never a moment when I sit down at my desk and say "I know exactly what I want to say." It never happens that way. Sure, sometimes I have a vague idea, but it rarely ends up turning out exactly the way I think it will. But isn't that life in a nutshell? Do we ever wake up and say "I know what is about it happen today. Every detail. Any detail?" No. But we wake up every morning and we start the day.

So why are we so reluctant to do that with our dreams? Fear? Fear of what? Failure? We should be embracing failure, shouldn't we? At least if we fail, we can say that we tried, and hopefully that we learned so that we can try again and eventually succeed - even if that success isn't what we pictured it to be at the start of the venture.

So I wake up every morning and I sit down at my computer and I write. I write without knowing what words are going to come out of me and sometimes they're good words and often they're not, but words happen and that's all I can ask for.

Except I'm going to ask one more thing, and I'm going to ask it of you: Will you fail with me? Will you wake up and do the thing you wish you could do and probably not do it well for a while so that you can eventually get to a point where you feel like you kick ass at that thing? Because I don't want to be alone here. We're all failures, right? So why don't we fail together?

 

I WANT TO DO ALL THE THINGS or What I Think About When I Can't Sleep

I have a friend who stays up all night thinking about every terrible thing she’s ever said or done in her life.

I tend to think about what I have left to do that I haven’t done. I worry myself into a frenzy about the fact that I’ll never accomplish it all. This is quite possibly because I want to do so many things. I want to write. I want to blog. I want to own a bookshop. I want to knit. I want to play more video games. I want to play more board games. I want to read more books. I want to hike more. I want to start a podcast. I want to volunteer at an animal shelter. I want to work with teens. I want to do yoga. I want to meditate. I want to bake. I want to throw grand parties. I want to travel.

I want to do all of these things, and the terrible thing is that there isn’t enough time or energy to go around. I know I simply cannot accomplish these things, but I try and tell myself that I can. I try and say “Wake up at 5 and read for one hour, then write for one hour, then do yoga, and then…” until all of a sudden I’m forgetting that I need sleep, and so waking up at 5 becomes difficult, and my daily routine that I’ve built is fucked from the start.

So how do I choose? How do I figure out what things I want to do more than ever?

The thing is, everyone always says that it’s hard to figure out what you want to do with your life. I always assume people are talking about careers when they say that and I always feel really lucky because I always knew that I wanted to own a bookshop, and maybe one day I still will. For now, being employed in one feels good enough. It’s now, though, that I’m realizing that I’m having a hard time narrowing down what it is that I want to do with the rest of my life. The parts when I’m not at work. The parts when I’m away from the bookshop. What do I do with that time? How do I parse it out? The options are endless. I have the books to read and the yarn to knit and the pantry is stocked with ingredients to turn into delicious treats. I have the laptop and the quick typing skills and the imagination to spin stories.

I just don’t have the time to chase all of these dreams.

But I think I’m starting to figure it out. I think I’m starting to realize that I just need to be structured and organized. I need to have priorities.

So here are the things I try and do every day:

I meditate. I read. I write. I work in a bookshop. I knit. I do yoga.

And then I have the things that I try and do on a weekly basis:

I bake. I blog. I read blogs. I submit at least one piece of writing to some publication somewhere. I play video games.

The rest? The rest I let myself do when I can. I work with a really great group of teens two Sundays out of every month and Fiance and I hike as often as possible. The traveling is something we’re trying to make sure we do semi-regularly, and the grand parties will happen when we have a house that can provide the space we want for things like that.

I’m trying to be easier on myself about these things. I am also planning my wedding on top of all this, after all, and it looks like that can be a time-consuming task (who knew?), but while I try and be easier on myself, I’m also trying to not let myself lose sight of these dreams and these passions. Maybe I fear waking up one day and realizing I never did so many things that I wanted to? I’m not sure, but all I know is that I never want to stop doing. I never want to stop creating. And I never want to be bored. There’s so much out there to learn and to do. So I’m doing my best to make something of this life of mine.

Anyway, that’s what I think about when I can’t sleep. What about you?

***

In related news, I'm still working on what I am affectionately calling "The Awkward Giraffe Project", a thing I'm doing to help save the giraffes because THEY'RE DYING AND WE NEED THEM YOU GUYS. Here's the deal: You donate to the Giraffe Conservation Society and I'll crochet you a stuffed giraffe and mail it to your house. Read more details in this blog post. No, I don't have a lot of time, but that's not your concern. It might take me a little while to get you your giraffe, but you will get one. I promise. So just do the right thing and worry about the giraffes, not me and my time management skills, okay?

Now, tell me about your life. What's new, friends?

No one knows what's going on up there at night, you guys. Not even me.

So I've been having really bizarre dreams again lately, which is always a strange combination of exciting and terrifying because when the weird dreams happen, it usually causes me and those around me to wonder what the frak is actually wrong with my brain and if I should start seeing a professional sometime soon about all of this, but in the meantime, I think I'm just going to turn to all of you guys here on the Internet because I respect your opinions enough to last me a while longer, I think. Anyway, so my brother and I were playing volleyball, but instead of using a standard volleyball, we were using a beach ball. He and I were on the same team and we were playing against a team of two robots. These robots were not "Ex Machina" robots, but more like primitive versions of R2D2 types of robots. Very non-flashy and very able to pop beach balls, which was a huge concern of mine. Maybe if they popped it, we would lose? Or the game would have to end and they would kill us? I'm not sure, but I remember feeling like the stakes were high. Either way, my brother and I both dove for the ball and one point and the robots failed to respond in time, so we won, causing them to break down in a smokey and mechanical sounding death. My brother and I high-fived.

Then my brother took Boyfriend and me aside and started giving us life advice. None of it was making any sense so he finally said "Look: Life is like Noah's Arc, right? I just don't want to see you sink the ship," and then he walked away.

When I told my brother about this in real life, he said, "Hey, that sounds like good advice."

"Sure," I said, "but I think the more important takeaway here is that we can defeat robots."

 

Blame It On the Cha-a-a-a-a-amomile

A conversation between my sister and I: Me: I've been having a really hard time falling asleep lately, so I started drinking chamomile tea.

Sister: That's a good idea.

Me: Yeah, and it's helping, BUT it's giving me really weird dreams.

Sister: Really?

Me: Yeah. Like... I had this dream the other night where I was in some sort of a desert camp thingy and I had to complete all these challenges and obstacles in order to be let out. All of a sudden a pack of red-eyed jackally things started chasing me, I remember that very clearly... and then I remember that our brother-in-law was supposed to be the guy that would pick me up when I got to the finish and get me out of there, and we were communicating through an earpiece like spies!

Sister: ...uh-huh...

Me: And so I was all "HELP! JACKALS ARE CHASING ME!" and he was all "YOU CAN DO THIS!"

Sister: ....

Me: And then I got to this one room and there was a huge river running through it and that's where I saw the other contestants and there were people on the other side and they were all "You have to make the bridge appear!" and I was all "I DON'T KNOW HOW!" But then I started figuring out that you had to whistle to the bridge at the right frequency and it would appear. Very Zelda.

Sister: What?

Me: And that's all I remember. The point is that chamomile is really fracking with my brain.

Sister: To be fair, you're a pretty weird person anyway... it's possible the the chamomile is just helping you sleep soundly... and that's why you're remembering all the weird dreams suddenly.

Me: ...

....

......

...........

You make a fair point.

***

In other news, I've mentioned before that when I'm not writing about my weirdness, I sell books in an independent bookshop. Books are kinda my thing. So, my other bookselling buddy and I have decided to invade the Internet with our bookishness by starting a book review vlog titled "Page Break" and it's going to be super awesome. Here is our introduction video:

So for all you book-loving nerds out there, find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Riffle Books! Our first review will be up on Thursday, February 20th!

Thanks for your support, Duckies!

I'm Pretty Sure It Was Clark Kent in the Squirrel Costume.

Happy Monday, readers!! Today is a super special day because today is the day after my best friend, John Hamm, got accepted into law school!!!! I am so happy for her and I can't wait to do illegal stuff and have her defend my honor. It's gonna be fantastic. Let's go break the law! Last night we went out for drinks and celebrated - it was wonderful! johnhammlawkiss

Okay, now on to the real post...

So, on Saturday, John Hamm and I were both really tired and we both ended up taking naps at the same time. No, we don't live together, which makes it a little more odd, but I just assume that this is what makes us so in tune with one another as friends. Anyway, this is the texting conversation we had when we both woke up:

JH: That nap was glorious. Aside from the strange parade of dream vignettes.

Me: Mine too, including the drumline squirrel mascots.

JH: Weeeeeird. Mine just had our co-worker, Clark Kent, popping up everywhere - at the film festival, on the subway, just around. He was ubiquitous.

Me: Mine had all of us and then there were mascots that were squirrels playing military snare drums everywhere.

JH: All of us?

Me: Yeah. Our gang... and maybe Clark Kent was the guy in the squirrel costume!!

JH: Ha.

Me: One of them hit me in the face with his drumstick...

JH: Hahaha - sucks.

Me: Yeah, and then they had a drum-off.

JH: That is strange... What were we all doing there?

Me: Grocery shopping.

JH: ...I don't know what I was expecting. Also, we napped at the same time, so technically we just slept together. ;)

Me: Yaaaaaay! :)

Okay, so now we fast-forward to when I got to work and talked to Clark Kent.

Me: Clark Kent, you were in mine and John Hamm's dreams today!

CK: Cool. How so?

Me: Well, in John Hamm's you just kept popping up in random places. In mine, I'm pretty sure you were the guy dressed as a squirrel and playing the drums.

CK: ...Huh.

Me: Yeah, it was so weird! Especially because John Hamm and I both napped at the same time and we both had dreams where you just illogically appeared out of nowhere throughout both of them - except in mine, there were multiples of you.

CK: In a squirrel costume?

Me: Yeah, but I'm pretty sure it was you. It only makes sense with John Hamm's dream.

CK: What time was this at?

Me: Between 2:00 and 3:00 today.

CK: That's so weird... I was reading my book at that time and I kept nodding off, just drifting in and out of consciousness.

Me: Oh my gosh. You Inceptioned our dreams!!!

CK: I totally did!

And then he walked away and left me standing in awe. My co-workers are literally awesome.

And Then My Dreams Tried to Tell Me That I'm a Dying Lesbian Housewife.

My conversation with John Hamm this morning: Me: I had the weirdest dreams last night...

JH: Huh.

Me: Like, in one of them, I was at a stop sign and this guy perpendicular to me was also stopped. He  was driving a station wagon. Out of nowhere, the back of the station wagon flew open, a giant dog jumped out, and a baby just walked out and fell over, but not in that creepy way, just in a "I'M GOING ON AN ADVENTURE, BUT I'M A BABY SO I DON'T KNOW HOW TO WALK!!" kind of way.... So I jumped out and saved the baby while the dude driving the station wagon got his dog. And then I went to Jane's.

JH: So, everything in your life came vomiting out of a dream station wagon...

Me: Yeah, but it wasn't even my dog. Or my baby... God, I hope I'm not pregnant... Or that I'm getting a station wagon... I don't know which would be worse.

JH: Well, the baby in your life isn't your baby either. Actually, I think this all means that you're gay.

Me: But who's dog was it?

JH: Wait, what color was the dog?

Me: It was like a Golden-doodle or something...

JH: That amplifies the gayness.

Me: Oh my gosh... Does my subconscious want me to be a suburbian for the rest of my life?!?!?!? Nooooo...

JH: Yup. You've got the White Pickets. ...That really does sound like a disease, doesn't it?

Me: Only in the same way that Shingles sounds harmless, but it's not... which is weird, because you get shingles for your roof... These suburban housing diseases are freaking me out, man.

JH: It's a serious thing.

Dream-Dad, You Know What You've Done...

I haven't been sleeping soundly lately. I keep having anxiety dreams, and last night I woke up at 4:30 and couldn't fall back asleep until after 6AM. It was awful. When I finally did fall asleep, I had another anxiety dream. Gio was coughing and hacking the whole dream, and I didn't know why. I was with John Hamm in her big house that my subconscious built for her, and she was all "Maybe you should be a better dog owner and investigate that shit." That's when my dad parachuted in. He had a box of stuff with him, like presents for us or something. Actually, I'm pretty sure there was make-up in the bag, which brings up a whole new realm of weird. Why was my dad parachuting make-up to me and my best friend? Was this some sort of Swedish Mafia mission? Was the make-up bugged with listening devices? Probably.

Either way, this was when Gio started coughing even more. I was getting worried, and both John Hamm and my dad were getting annoyed that this problem wasn't being solved. That's when Gio hacked up the cardboard box that had been containing my dad's make-up gifts for John Hamm and I.

So really, it was Dream Dad's fault that my dog was dying. And it was probably my dog's way of trying to save our lives from the bugged make-up that may or may not have been laced with explosives. So, really, my dog is the hero here.

So.... analyze that.

Clearly he had no problems getting any sleep last night.